Saturday evening I picked up the readings to prepare for Sunday Mass. A phrase from the second reading of St. Paul to the Colossians really stood out to me and I wanted to share my thoughts on it with you.
What is your ultimate end goal in life? What do you long the most to achieve someday? Hopefully Heaven. (because that’s my point here. 😉 Anyways…) Since Heaven is our ultimate goal in life we should want to do everything we can to achieve it. If sacrifices and sufferings help us achieve merit in Heaven and help other people get to Heaven too by joyfully and silently offering them up to our Lord, if our sufferings can help us get one more step closer and be that much more likely to get Heaven, wouldn’t we be jumping for joy at the opportunity to perform a sacrifice and offer up our sufferings? Wouldn’t we be actually seeking opportunities to offer sacrifices if it helps us get closer to our goal? But that’s the thing, sacrifices and sufferings offered up joyfully and silently to God do help us get closer to our goal! The first part of the verse in Colossians 1:24 that brought these questions to my mind is St. Paul saying, “I rejoice in my sufferings.” Why am I not rejoicing in my sufferings? Why am I not offering to do the dishes or take care of my siblings instead of laying around? Why do I waste time complaining when I could be silent and get closer to my goal?
Our time on earth is smaller than a sliver of a second compared to our time in eternity. So that means we have smaller than a sliver of a second to choose whether we want to go to Heaven. It’s such a small time to deny myself and sacrifice so I can spend eternity in perfection with Christ. Yet it doesn’t have to be much. Just not having ketchup on my hamburger could help! … What? No I don’t think God really cares whether I put ketchup on my hamburger, but the denying of my self desire, even though my mind, tongue, and stomach want it, is a sacrifice. It’s not the ketchup I’m sacrificing, but the little desire. The more times I deny myself the easier it will be to continue doing and the easier it will be to turn to God as my fulfillment.
Now I know in this moment of my “mind boggling revelation” it’s easier said than done. I just encourage you to take one small step though. I know you can sacrifice one small squirt of ketchup or other condiment you like. (now that just sounds weird…oh well, just roll with it) But by making one small sacrifice it will give you the strength and practice to make another one and eventually bigger ones because you’re growing in your ability to say no to your desires and yes to God and His Will. Having ketchup isn’t bad, but by starting small like this, the perseverance and continual efforts can lead to being able to say no to bigger things like to skipping Mass or sex before marriage and yes to God’s Will for your life. The more you make God’s desires first priority,
the closer you will get to him and the closer you will get to Heaven. It just starts with skipping a squirt of ketchup. 😉
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